Sofia* has cyclothymic disorder and was referred to one of our Supported Employment services by her GP, as she wanted some support to access some training and get back into employment.

two women sit face to face talking in a bright roomSofia and her Employment Specialist Recovery Worker (ESRW) chatted at her initial assessment about what her support needs were, as well as what her goals and hopes for the future were. Sofia had studied childcare at college, but wasn’t sure she wanted to pursue this career. She talked with her ESRW about the time she had spent caring for a family member with a chronic health condition, as well as coping with her mental health problems alongside this while growing up, and said that she wanted to find a career related to this that she would find really rewarding. Her ESRW saw that Sofia had a really caring, empathic and mature nature, and suggested searching for a ‘peer supporter’ role that would suit her.

Together Sofia and her ESRW created a CV based on this aspiration and began searching for jobs in the area; meanwhile, Sofia started to do some voluntary work with her local Citizens Advice service. Her ESRW told us what happened next:

“We found a role in a new NHS service, providing Peer Support for people struggling with their mental health. They were looking specifically for people with first-hand experience of mental health problems, and Sofia felt it was a perfect fit for her where she could really ‘give something back.’ I supported her to complete the application form, and soon she was invited to attend an interview. When we found out, we spent a few sessions focusing on coaching her for the interview to build her confidence. It paid off, as Sofia did extremely well on the day, and was offered the role! This was such an achievement for her. Sofia had to wait around 3 months before starting her role, so during this time I supported her with moving from ESA to Universal Credit and finding some additional financial assistance to make sure she could afford to travel to work initially.

Sofia has now been in her new role for 4 months. She has found it exciting, challenging and rewarding, and having structure and a purpose to her days has improved her mental wellbeing immensely. She is really excited to see where it takes her.

Sofia has come such a long way during the time she has spent with MHM, and she feels our support has enabled her to develop the confidence and tools to face any challenges in the future – she is really grateful, and said she would definitely recommend the service to others in her position.”

Find out more about our Employment Support services

* This case study is from a real client of MHM, but the names have been changed and the photo has been staged by an actor to protect their privacy.